It’s still sinking in that I accomplished the 13.1 mile goal I set for myself months ago. Long cold runs in the snow and rain, healthy eating, hard work and dedication all l lead up to one race. 2 hours and 10 minutes through Central Park. Amanda came in early Saturday afternoon and after dropping off her stuff at Mike’s apartment, the three of us headed toward the More/Fitness Magazine Health & Wellness Expo to gather our race numbers and gear. A hot pink SPIbelt and matching Sparkly Soul headbands were purchased before we wandered along the High Line, where we casually bumped into (Amanda literally sort of did…) Cameron Diaz. No big deal. Love her! We worked up an appetite after a few hours of exploring so grabbed salads, alongside some groceries (all for $10.49 somehow!) for dinner later on before heading back to sit out on Mike’s balcony and relax. Countless Nalgenes-full of water later, we got started with our night-before-the-race feast, an energizing spread of grilled chicken, eggplant, peppers and broccoli with roasted parsnips and sweet potato. We were hungry. Before we knew it, it was time to catch some z’s in preparation for the big day. 5:30 a.m. came too soon. I didn’t feel right and had barely slept. Coffee, scrambled eggs and an apple with soy nut butter were consumed but still something was off. I chalked it up to nerves. Amanda and I caught a cab to Columbus Circle and we walked to the starting area where we met up with Em. We worried about a few raindrops, were corralled into place and before I could blink (although in reality it was over an hour later…), the race started.
It wasn’t easy and I hate to use the word “disappointed” because for goodness sake I ran 13.1 miles, what’s there to complain about? But what got me down on myself was the fact that after doing everything right from eating, stretching and hydrating days prior to the hours of training I had endured in preparation, I never would have guessed a stomach issue would prop up. The first three miles were all smiles. I had goosebumps, soaking in the sunshine and aroma of everything in bloom while my adrenaline rushed with each stride. Things were fine and I felt strong, in fact, all the way until mile 7, when my churning stomach hit. It wasn’t nerves, something else was wrong. A full 24+ hours later, I’m still not back to my normal self. Regardless, I’m proud that I had the mental toughness to push through those “uncontrollables” to cross that finish line. I feel accomplished running farther than ever before and strength-wise, I could have kept going! Moreover, I’m positive that I would have reached my under 2 hour goal if it wasn’t for this bug (or whatever it is). It was tough to have been moping at the finish line, though, especially with my crew of cheerleaders there. I can’t even put into words what it meant to have had my parents, boyfriend and best friend waiting for me. Seeing my dad poking his head out, urging me to push it the last few strides made my eyes tear up and my legs fly. I’m honestly still a whirlwind of emotions and cannot get over the amount of love, support, encouraging texts, tweets and sweaty hugs I have received. I’m truly one of the luckiest people in the world and cannot thank everyone enough for celebrating this with me. The popular question has been, “So now what?” Well, I’m nuts, stubborn (in a competitive way) and always looking toward the future with some goal in mind so naturally I have my eye on the next race. I have about 2 months to recover and prove to myself I can hit that 2 hour mark without tummy troubles. Wish me luck!
Have you ever been frustrated after a race?
Sprinkled with Sweat (er, I mean Love),